Wall Street is gearing up for yet another record-high session as
shoppers flock to retail stores for Black Friday deals.
Before the opening bell,
(INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were up 0.28% at 16,119.00 while futures on
(INDEXSP:.INX) rose 0.23% to 1,808.40. Both indices reached record
highs. After hitting a 13-year high on Wednesday,
(INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures were up 0.48% to 3,485.25.
No major economic data points are scheduled for today. With many
Wall Street professionals still out for the Thanksgiving holiday,
trading volumes are expected to be low for today's half-day
) begin the official holiday sales season, when their revenue
should spike. Investors will be alert to how successful each
retailer is at bringing in Christmas shoppers for Black Friday
) analysts said in an October report that year-over-year sales
growth during the crucial holiday quarter is only expected to be
1.6% compared to a 3.5% increase last year. Retailers have
responded with steeper discounts and more marketing. Thanksgiving
came later this year, making the intra-holiday period shorter by
(JCP) is hoping for a spark to get sales back on track, but the
retailer will leave the S&P 500 index by the end of the day.
(AAPL) sales gained 1% in the pre-market after a report showed that
it claimed 76% of new smartphone sales in Japan in October. Last
(DCM) started carrying the iPhone.
Overseas markets were also on the upswing on Friday. Japan's CPI,
excluding food and energy prices, rose 0.3% year-over-year in
October, the biggest increase in 25 years. The government and
central bank have been on an aggressive anti-deflation push for
just over a year now. Manufacturing PMI showed that the sector's
growth accelerated in November. The index rose to 55.1 from 54.2 in
October. (Readings over 50 indicate expansion.) October industrial
production disappointed, rising just 0.5%. Unemployment in Japan
was steady at 4%, but worker incomes fell 1.3%.
The Netherlands, a stalwart of the eurozone, was stripped of its
AAA rating by S&P. The country's debt is rated at AA+ because
the ratings agency does not believe that economic output will be
below 2008 levels for the next three years at least. S&P also
lifted its outlook on Spain to stable, and reiterated its BBB-
rating. The analyst expect Spain's economy to shrink 1.3% this year
and grow 0.8% in 2014.
Unemployment across the eurozone fell for the first time in nearly
three years in October. The region's jobless rate fell to 12.1% in
October from 12.2% in September.